Free Essay with an Evaluation of the Effect of Warfare on Modern International Politics

Published: 2022-05-18
Free Essay with an Evaluation of the Effect of Warfare on Modern International Politics
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Politics International relations
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1753 words
15 min read

Changes in information flow as leaders meet and negotiate in the global arena. Outcomes of these meetings and negotiation is world peace. Peace of the state is an indication of the social cohesion within. Therefore, to promote global peace, aspects within every nation that promote peace require to be evaluated. War which is the absence of peace and the presence of harmonious coexistence between individuals or societies with diverse cultures, norms, and values is sometimes used where negotiations fail. Therefore, there are aspect if peace that require hegemonic power to take charge to avoid wars breaking from every nation that disagrees with another. Different ways of settling conflicts and misunderstandings in objectives and clashes on values and norms between people or nations have to be agreed upon. Also, avenues through which individual states, societies or society of states are able to protect their territorial boundaries or ideologies are essential. In order for all these to succeed international relations between nations have to be understood and through them a modern world where peace prevails can be established. In the 1990s United states and its allies led the global system. However, with time this was challenged by the emerging powers such as Russian and China. This paper will critically evaluate different aspects of warfare such as conflicts and their impact on the global environment in regards to economic development and it's shaping up of international politics. The discussion will be organized to issues to deal with war and politics through analysis of its consequences, the relationship between war and international politics and then conclude the discussion with relationship between war and modern international politics.

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War and Politics

War can be considered as organized violence carried out by a political unit and directed towards another political unit. Therefore, for any violence to be considered war, it must be of a political unit against another political unit. In the field of international politics, war is considered an important change agent. However, it is one of the most overlooked ones. Its impact can be assessed as an independent variable or jointly with other variables in change analysis (Reiter, 2018). In the 20th Century two global wars were experienced; World War I (WWI)(1914-1916) and World War II (WWII)(1939-1945). In execution of this wars, a lot of resources were mobilized, and much destruction was the result of some surviving while others were decimated and lasting impressions of the war left. After the end of WWII focus shifted to the prevention of war as the Cold War began. The change in shift gave rise to the behavioral and theoretically oriented discipline whose aim was in origins of war, deterrence, crisis and crisis management, and strategic stability with the causes of the war (Gat, 2017). In the discourse of war in international relations scholars and policy-makers alike need to learn more about the effects of war and its relationship to international conflicts in a broad manner.

A number of researchers argue that war is a continuation of political intercourse and when combined with other means its effects can be destructive on individuals, groups, nations and international systems (Young, 2017; Gilpin, 2016). Leaders too are critical components as they influence starting or ceasing of wars. It has been observed that when leaders forget the realities and sufferings caused by wars, the likelihood of them deciding to go to war increases. As stated earlier war does not differentiate but affects all in its path whether they like it or not thus its prevention should be prioritized and where prevention is inevitable its effect needs to be evaluated to devise ways that it provides a positive change in the long run even in the political arena.

Consequences of war can be characterized as follows; the timing of impact; duration; ways in which it affects individuals, groups, nations and international systems; what consequences occur and to what degree; differences in how nations wage war; conflicts' course and prewar attributes of actors (Stein &Russett, 1980). Without considering the cause of war, some of its consequences may be felt immediately while others may take longer to be felt (Schaeffer, 2016). When the impacts are long-term, future generations carry the burden of the war regarding costs. Moreover, during the war certain aspects of the economy such as domestic labor are affected as mobilization for the war shifts their engagement. The shift results in economic downtime as factors of production are employed in non-productive activities. A shift in economic downtime affects the economic development of the nation shit power balance to those nations that are economically developed. However, it has been noted that after the war has ended, the labor returns to productive activities but sometimes due to permanent changes, such as death or injuries, the capacity to produce cannot reach the previous prewar level.

Although war may have positive effects, such as increased acceleration in technology diffusion, prewar state of technology is forever gone. War destroys productive facilities thereby changing capabilities of the actors and power balance (Torres-Sanchez, Brandon, & 't Hart, 2018). Also, war results to structural changes as actors are shifted from their original environments to new ones with their sovereignty at risk as their values are taken over by the dominating state. Moreover, given that wars vary in intensity and extent as some last a few days while others last for years there are differences in scope and degree of destruction. Wars that are large in their extent and degree have more destruction and effect long-term changes thus rebuilding is required and this sometime results in adoption of new ideologies and norms.

International Politics: Theories and International Relations

Theories of Global PoliticsThere are two main perspectives of global politics; realism and liberalism (Lieber, 2009). Realism offers an account of world affairs in a realistic manner devoid of wishful thinking or moral delusions. Thus, it views global politics as power politics where a power struggle between men exist, and its end product is the acquisition of power, maintenance of power, and demonstration of power (Gilpin, 2016). Power-politics theory is founded on two assumptions. Firstly, is the egoism that posits that people are selfish and competitive. Secondly, is that the state system operates in lawlessness and no authority is higher than that of the state. Thus in summary egoism plus lawlessness equals power politics splitting the first perspective into two structures. This perspective identifies factors such as state egoism and conflict, statecraft and national interest, international anarchy and polarity, stability and balance of power as important (Nye & Welch, 2014).

Liberalism, on the other hand, is portrayed as an ideology of the industrialized West identifying itself with West civilization. Most of the Liberalist ideas and theories took shape following WWI and believe in the possibility of universal peace which is perpetual. In liberalism, the central theme is harmony and balance among competing interests that may be pursued by either individuals or groups (Jackson, &Sorensen, 2016). The competition for self-interests is affected by the natural equilibrium which asserts itself. It is important to note that, competing interests sometimes act complimentary and these conflicts are not irreconcilable. Both realism and liberalism share certain assumptions about the operation of international politics in that they both accept that the world affairs are shaped by competition among states with liberalism assuming that the competition within the system is conducted in a grander framework of harmonies (Gilpin, 2016; Nye & Welch, 2014)

Critical Perspective On International Politics

These perspectives on international politics have also had a share of their criticism. One of the criticisms is that they have embraced the post-positivist approach in which the subject and the object are intimately linked. Another criticism is on its global status quo and norms, values and assumptions on which they are built upon. According to the critics, the liberalism and realism perspectives on international policy are ways of concealing the imbalances of power in the established global system (Jackson, &Sorensen, 2016). The critics also argue that, apart from concealing the imbalances of power in the established global system, the two perspectives also legitimize the power imbalances. Therefore, the critical theorists are dedicated to aligning themselves to the interests of the oppressed by overthrowing oppression and setting mechanisms that ensure that it does not occur again. Globalization and its acceleration have played a pivotal role in the reconfiguration of the world politics. Also, globalization has resulted in global interconnectedness where politics are enmeshed in the web of interdependences whose operation transverse borders while operating within the different nations or states.

For international politics to promote a lasting peace the different actor, both large and small have to respect the ideologies, norms and values upheld by the other. Therefore, positive relations must be sought at all the times. The relations are a product of internal peace and stability. International relations are anchored on the premise that each state or nation is stable internally.

International Relations

According to Jackson and Sorensen (2016), main actors in international relations are the territorial states or nations. Over the years, evolution of international relations has followed on a similar pattern to that followed by the evolution of the territorial states. For instance, before modern states were formed, macro-political order was imposed by other social orders such as cities or empires such as the Roman Empire. The purpose of the empires was to impose order and unity (Gilpin, 2016). However, over time these empires started disintegrating due to corruption and increase in disorder. Brute force overrode processes of political deliberations and division was the inevitable result. In the ensuing divisions, generals fought each other weakening nations from within, destroying industry and commerce resulting into economic poverty, political fragmentation, and social disorder. Weakening of these aspects made the nations or the states prone to external interference that could easily effect change. Therefore, as the weakening of nationswas happening some institutions emerged that aimed at providing unity and order among the impoverished areas (Jackson, &Sorensen, 2016). These institutions such as the churches maintained the light of religion, learning, and literacy despite the disorderliness experienced at the time. These structures formed the basis of effecting power balance among the ruling elites and change in sovereignty.

As new and authoritative leaders tried to impose order and stability there lead to the development of international relations. The new and authoritative leaders were bestowed powers and privileges that were uncommon to the normal population. Therefore, a relation between the different areas was seen as relationships between empires, cities, and city-states (Jackson, &Sorensen, 2016). However, as changes occurred in the economic and social worlds, superior-scale states emerged affecting the distribution of power.

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